Archive for October, 2009

Hoyer in; Fuson out

Jed Hoyer was officially announced as the GM of the Padres yesterday. I watched the press conference on Padres.com. I’d say it was a good start for Jed. He’s very focused on the draft and development, which can never be a bad thing.

Everything I’ve read and heard about Hoyer so far has been good. Tom Krasovic, who is clearly enjoying the freedoms of his new blog, mentioned how prepared Hoyer was for his interview:

Howser put himself “head and shoulders” above the other GM candidates, Moorad said, by compiling a detailed analysis of the Padres baseball talent, including a breakdown of how he envisioned the front office working. He needed a binder for the treatise, which runs some 50 pages.

He apparently took six months preparing for his interview with the Red Sox back in 2002.

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With new people running the show, it is not surprising that there are going to be some changes in the organization. Grady Fuson is the first to go, reports the UT’s Bill Center. Fuson was the VP of scouting and player development, and had been with the Padres for the past four years.

According to the NC Times, scouting director Bill “Chief” Gayton has been reassigned to another position in the organization. It is pretty clear that there is going to be a new direction in scouting and player development

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I apparently missed this during my hiatus, but Jeff Kingston, director of baseball operations, left the Padres in September to join the Mariners as an assistant GM. Kingston is only 32, having graduated from Dickinson University in 1999 with a degree in economics. Like Jed Hoyer, Kingston worked under Theo Epstein early in his career, back when Epstein was the director of baseball operations with the Padres. Kingston took over that position in 2002.

Kingston, as his title might imply, was a pretty integral part of the Padres. From an old Tom Krasovic profile:

Enters eighth year in baseball operations department. Heavily involved in all player contract negotiations including coordinating club’s salary arbitration efforts while also overseeing Padres statistical analysis and video scouting systems. Recommended getting pitcher Cla Meredith in trade from Boston. Spent 2000 working as a sports producer for an Internet company in downtown San Diego.

You may also remember, Chris Long mentioned Kingston as one of the three guys (along with Paul DePodesta and Josh Stein) that he interacted with most in the Padres front office. No idea who will fill Jeff’s position.

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It’s Jed Hoyer

It looks like the Padres are going to announce Jed Hoyer, (soon to be) former Red Sox Assistant General Manager, as the new GM later today.

Hoyer graduated from Wesleyan University, where he played baseball for four years. After that, he worked in the admissions office for his alma mater and Kenyon College, and also was an assistant coach at Wesleyan for two years. He joined the Red Sox in 2002 as an intern and quickly moved up the organizational depth chart. When Theo Epstein briefly left the Red Sox in late 2005, Hoyer had already built up enough trust with the Boston higher-ups to be named co-GM.

What we’re getting here, in baseball terms, is an elite prospect. In contrast, Towers was the wily veteran. He had a long track record, we knew his tendencies, we knew he was capable of handling the responsibilities that came with the GM gig (and doing a pretty good job at it, too).

With Hoyer, we simply don’t know as much. We don’t really have a track record to go by because, except for a few months, Jed Hoyer hasn’t been in this situation. He hasn’t ran the show. At the same time, we know enough about Hoyer to be excited about his arrival. We know he’s smart. We know he’s quickly moved up the ranks of one of the better organizations in baseball. He appears to be a guy that not only values scouting and stats, but wants as much information that’s attainable before making any decision.

What I also like about the move is that it shows Jeff Moorad is going to go out and get what he wants. He’s not going to dance around it. Let’s face it, Moorad’s vision, whatever it is, is going to shape this organization. He wanted someone who would adopt a more “strategic approach” in the draft, and I think he got him.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to following the Hoyer era in San Diego. No, it won’t be easy to out-do what Kevin Towers did with the Padres, but I think it’s time for something different. Like with the acquisition of any prospect on the field, there’s a high risk, high reward component here, no doubt. Hoyer could be the next Billy Beane or Theo Epstein, or things could get ugly fast. But if Moorad and company have done their homework, I think we’ll be looking back on this day as a great one in Padres’ history.